Sternal cleft is a rare congenital chest wall anomaly as a result of failure of fusion of the sternum in the midline. Types of sternal defects described are complete or partial depending on the degrees of separation. Diagnosis is clinical with an obvious visible anterior chest wall defect sometimes associated with paradoxical respiration. Investigations are essential to rule out associated anomalies. Early neonatal surgery approximating the sternal halves is feasible due to their compliant chest wall and can result in good outcome in some selected cases without causing any cardiovascular and respiratory compromise. Late presentations of this anomaly require careful surgical planning. A number of innovative sternal cleft reconstruction options are available to bridge the defect that may be selected depending on the size/width of defect and without causing cardiorespiratory compromise.
KeywordsComplete sternal cleft Partial sternal cleft Pentalogy of Cantrell Sternal reconstruction Sliding chondrotomy